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Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts on policy and decision making 28th- 29th September 2006 Adaptive.

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Presentation on theme: "Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts on policy and decision making 28th- 29th September 2006 Adaptive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts on policy and decision making 28th- 29th September 2006 Adaptive Foresight Navigating the Complex landscape of policy strategies E. Anders Eriksson & K. Matthias Weber FOI Defence Analysis & ARC systems research

2 The guiding interest and inspiration When is Foresight effective? The impact on decision- making matters! –Informing decisions –Guiding strategy formation –Facilitating implementation A gap between informing and facilitating functions of foresight

3 The critical questions… How to bridge the gap between foresight processes and concrete actions by policy and other actors Beyond collective function of informing, facilitating and mobilisation: how to tap foresight for individual strategies and measures back home? How to overcome the limitations of participatory processes and draw also on the hidden agendas? Could customer-oriented forward-looking processes be an option? How to avoid naive pursuit of unachievable visions?

4 Requirements for Adaptive Foresight Foresight to help navigate complex decision landscapes –Multiple options –Interaction and strategic behaviour in a multi-actor setting –Difficulties to anticipate AF as a framework to position foresight in a policy context – requirements: –Appropriate understanding of innovation and strategic decision- making –Contribute to mobilisation and co-ordination –Insights on how to change course, new impulses, upset agendas

5 The roots of Adaptive Foresight Three constitutive roots of Adaptive Foresight… –New models of innovation –Foresight –Adaptive Planning … with some common features –Dealing with complexity & uncertainty –Abandoning the illusion to predict the future

6 Developments in Foresight From technology forecasting to a consideration of market and social aspects: innovation as a systemic and path- dependent process Recognition of need for interaction and participation: innovation as a distributed process Emphasis on open participatory processes: innovation as a collectively shaped process BUT: –Need to make foresight effective for decision-making: innovation as a strategic activity with open and closed processes –Underestimation of the need to adapt and to be cautious: innovation as a contingent and uncertain process –Need to strengthen the scientific basis: towards a systematic and fact-based foundation Adaptive Planning could help!

7 Adaptive Planning One-stage decision-making –Robust options (individually or at portfolio level) –Flexible options Sequential decision-making –Adding adaptive options Adaptive Planning then –is strategic planning that handles uncertainty by considering robustness, flexibility, and adaptivity within a common framework. –Proposes a package of decision options resulting from an AP exercise will typically consist of both robust (fixed and flexible) and adaptable parts. Analysis at portfolio level Commitment vs. opportunism

8 Adaptive Foresight Adaptive in three respects: –Balance between the ability to shape and the need to adapt –Iterative monitoring and learning –Balance between participatory and internal/closed processes of anticipation Help decision-makers develop strategies –Working closely with a client, acting on behalf of an addressee –Sensitive to political settings –Degree of participation depends on phase the process: Debates on strategic positioning may be inappropriate in a public participation

9 Adding a process cycle to foresight … A second cycle of interaction between informing and facilitating, targeted at individual actors/organisations Embedded in the full policy cycle and its iterations (policy process improving) Open participation informing Internal processes strategic counselling/ enabling Realisation facilitating Discourse Joint visions/scenarios Mobilisation Concrete follow up Collective actions Coordination Interpretation Individual strategies

10 Building blocks of an archetypical AF process Initial analysis and review –System analysis and identification of the focal issue Drafting of exploratory framework scenarios –Analyse the scenario space Specification of exploratory framework scenarios –Rationalising creativity Formulation of collective visions and objectives –Developing a sense of direction Identification of challenges associated with each framework scenario Identification of collective pathways –Multiple backcasting

11 Building blocks of archetypical AF process Identification of collective strategies –A portfolio of robust and adaptive options across scenarios Identification of individual objectives, roles and options –Targeting scenarios to individual actors Identification of individual strategies –Portfolios of options for individual client organisations Realisation and coordination –Policy implementation and learning among autonomous and strategic actors

12 Recent examples of Adaptive Foresight- inspired exercises Impact of ICT on Transport (EU) Future of Freight Transport (AT) Transport Technology Policy Strategy (AT) Foresight on Information Society Technologies in the European Research Area/in Austria (EU/AT) Vienna RTI Strategy Vienna RTI Foresight Nordic H 2 Energy Foresight (DK, FI, IS, NO, SE) Transition to Sustainable Production Systems (AT) Vienna RTI Strategy

13 Assessment and future methodological challenges Some strong points: –More realistic policy strategies –Defensive (adaptive) and offensive (exerting options) at the same time –Enhancing effectiveness of forward-thinking by moving from collective to single-actor process stages –Strategic thinking about portfolios of options … and some further work ahead –From small industrialised countries to large countries and developing countries –Build learning explicitly into a rolling AF process – get away from impressionism and strengthen the scientific basis of AF –Combine with recent advances in computer assistance and complex systems modelling –Bring real options fully to bear


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